What is the UV Index?

UV-safety-index

Have you ever noticed your meteorologist talking about the UV index? You might even notice an alert when the UV index is above normal. That’s not something to be taken lightly. You might even wonder, "What is the UV index? How does it apply to me?"

What is the UV Index?

The UV index is calculated by the National Weather Service. It lets you know how high your risk is of experience skin damage from UV rays. The UV index takes into account various factors, like ozone concentration, elevation, the sun’s angle to the earth and how cloudy it’s supposed to be.

A computer model calculates the strength of UV radiation as it hits the ground. This is the UV index.

Reading the UV Index Scale

The higher the number on the UV index, the more extreme the risk is of skin damage. Below is a breakdown of the UV index scale:

0-2: Low

Wear sunglasses and sunscreen with 30+ SPF.

3-5: Moderate

Stay out of the sun from 11 am to 1 pm, when the sun is the strongest. Wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses if you’re outside. Slather on broad spectrum sunscreen every 2 hours, even if it’s overcast.

6-7: High

Reduce your sun exposure from 10 am to 4 pm if possible. Wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses if you’re outside. Slather on broad spectrum sunscreen every 2 hours, even if it’s overcast.

8-10: Very High

Stay out of the sun from 10 am to 4 pm if at all possible. Continue to take the same precautions with sun protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy.

11: Extreme

If you’re not protected, your skin and eyes can burn in just a few minutes. Try not to go outside between 10 am and 4 pm if you don’t have to. Wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, even in the shade. Keep putting on the sunscreen

Bright surfaces, like water, sand and snow, reflect UV rays. Even if you’re in the shade, if you can see the sky, you can get burned.

You can check the UV index for your location on this EPA UV Index web page. You can even check the hours that the index will be higher so that you know whether to wear your Cabana Life preppy dress for cocktails after work.

 

 

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